HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A man from Reading, Berks County, was caught with a loaded gun at the Harrisburg International Airport security checkpoint on Monday, Aug. 15, according to a release from the Transportation Security Administration.
A TSA officer spotted the 9mm caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets in the traveler’s carry-on bag, the release says. When the gun was spotted using the X-ray machine, the TSA agent alerted police.
The man said he forgot that he had his gun with him, according to Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s federal security director for Harrisburg International Airport.
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“If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know where it is at all times. Not knowing that you are carrying a handgun is an accident waiting to happen. He now faces a stiff financial civil penalty and his claim to have forgotten that he had a gun is going to cost him,” Keys-Turner said in the press release.
Individuals who bring weapons with them to a security checkpoint can face civil penalties of up to $13,900, and this applies to people with concealed carry permits, as well, the TSA release explains. Travelers may transport firearms as checked baggage, provided they are properly stored and declared.
This is at least the seventh gun caught by TSA at Harrisburg International Airport this year. Of all the guns caught by TSA nationwide in 2022, about 86% were loaded, according to the release.